Mark Kingon announces re-establishment of unit to investigate illicit economy

Acting South African Revenue Service commissioner Mark Kingon says the tobacco industry is among the sectors on their radar.

A video screengrab of acting Sars Commissioner Mark Kingon giving his testimony at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria on 19 October 2018. Picture: YouTube.

PRETORIA - Acting South African Revenue Service (Sars) Commissioner Mark Kingon has announced the re-establishment of a specialised unit to conduct investigations of the illicit economy, a unit similar to the kind that was labelled rogue and disbanded.

Kingon delivered an emotional apology to the nation during his testimony at the Nugent Commission of Inquiry in Pretoria on Friday.

Retired Judge Robert Nugent has already found that the upheaval and instability at Sars was caused by suspended Commissioner Tom Moyane and recommended he be removed from office immediately.

Kingon says a decision has already been taken to establish a unit to investigate the illicit economy.

“This week I had a privilege of signing off the structure for the unit and we’ve already got 58 cases that have been identified in terms of this unit. We’re looking forward to the re-establishment of this unit, the capacity that was destroyed in this whole process.”

He says the tobacco industry is among the sectors on their radar.

“We can do it with proper governance and we can do it in a transparent way. There’s no need for cloak-and-dagger.”

Kingon adds a centre to deal with large business will be fully operational by April 2019.


Kingon says he’s starting a process to reinstate more than 200 highly skilled Sars employees who were displaced by the Bain operating model.

Kingon says the employees affected by the operating model had accumulated many years of institutional knowledge, which is now going to waste.

“Around 200 employees were displaced in the operating model review. Many of them were highly skilled, hugely experienced people. Their expertise and contribution have been sorely missed as the inefficiencies and problems of the new operating model have become apparent.”

He says their skills ought to be put to good use.

“We have started a process of recognising each person’s particular skill to match it to a position. And it’s tendered, where possible, and this is something we’re considering. Can we reinstate them?”

Kingon says he’s also initiated a process to upgrade those employees who were arbitrarily downgraded in the Bain operating model.

WATCH: Mark Kingon gives evidence at Nugent Commission

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)